October 21 - MEC Dhlomo with inkosi Xolo and Greg Evans at the opening of the new Khanyisizwe health facility. Photo: KwaZulu-Natal health department

Durban - KwaZulu-Natal health MEC Sibongiseni Dhlomo has urged men to have themselves checked for possible health problems.  

“Men are generally not keen to visit health facilities. As a result, most people who die at hospitals are men. This needs to change. That is why we are urging men – and the public in general - to get themselves checked. It is free of charge and will help you live longer,” Dhlomo said at the official opening of the new R3 million Khanyisizwe health facility at Gcilima (Dumezulu) in the Kwa Xolo area on the South Coast of KwaZulu-Natal.

The facility was a donation to the public by Greg Evans of First Love Ministries, which also supported various local community projects in the area including building a crèche and running a feeding scheme for five local primary schools, the KwaZulu-Natal health department said in a statement on Saturday.

The opening of Khanyisizwe would decongest four local primary healthcare facilities - Ludimala, Gcilima, Mvutshini, and Thembalesizwe clinics. This meant that queues at these clinics would be shorter and nurses would have more time to consult with patients, the department said.

Dhlomo thanked inkosi Xolo for approaching First Love Ministries, and asking them to build the clinic. “Our appreciation is to UNdabezitha, inkosi Xolo for the love and care he has for his people. In relentlessly putting up a plea for the existence of a health facility here inkosi Xolo is ensuring that his people have access to healthcare.”

Dhlomo also thanked First Love Ministries for its benevolence, saying the health facility would literally transform people’s lives, as they no longer had to walk long distances to access certain primary health care services. 

“Today we can safely declare that people of this area are now going to live healthy and longer because they now have a health facility that will be providing preventative and promotive health services; a pick-up point for chronic medication; phila mntwana services; and a base for the performing of operational sukuma sakhe activities," he said.

Dhlomo also urged healthcare professionals throughout the province to always treat patients with care and compassion.

“The healthcare profession is unlike others. If a teacher does not do his or her job children will fail. But those children will come back next year. But if a nurse is busy on whatsapp on her phone instead of taking care of a patient that patient will die and be buried. Remember that people are created in the image of God. When a patient presents in front of you, you have an opportunity to either make that patient happy or very sad. Therefore, you must do that which is Godly.”

He urged the public to get into the habit of undergoing a free health screening without waiting until they were sick to seek healthcare.